China report spells out "grim" climate change risks

Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:20am GMT
 

* Climate change could trip up China's growth -govt review

* More chaotic weather could cut China's grain production

* More provinces to face severe water shortages

* Extra steps needed to protect cities from rising seas

By Chris Buckley

BEIJING, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Global warming threatens China's march to prosperity by cutting crops, shrinking rivers and unleashing more droughts and floods, says the government's latest assessment of climate change, projecting big shifts in how the nation feeds itself.

The warnings are carried in the government's "Second National Assessment Report on Climate Change," which sums up advancing scientific knowledge about the consequences and costs of global warming for China -- the world's second biggest economy and the biggest emitter of greenhouse gas pollution.

Global warming fed by greenhouse gases from industry, transport and shifting land-use poses a long-term threat to China's prosperity, health and food output, says the report. With China's economy likely to rival the United States' in size in coming decades, that will trigger wider consequences.

"China faces extremely grim ecological and environmental conditions under the impact of continued global warming and changes to China's regional environment," says the 710-page report, officially published late last year but released for public sale only recently.   Continued...

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